The American Founding and the Social Compact

Author:   Ronald J. Pestritto ,  Thomas G. West ,  Edward J. Erler ,  Steven Forde
Publisher:   Lexington Books
ISBN:  

9780739106648


Pages:   296
Publication Date:   25 August 2003
Format:   Hardback
Availability:   In Print   Availability explained
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The American Founding and the Social Compact


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Overview

Unlike many other books about the American founding, this new work by two of the most prominent scholars of American political history emphasizes the coherence and intelligibility of the social compact theory. Social compact theory, the idea that government must be based on an agreement between those who govern and those who consent to be governed, was one of the Founders' few unifying philosophical positions, and it transcended the partisan politics of that era. Contributors to this volume present a comprehensive overview of the social compact theory, discussing its European philosophical origins, the development of the theory into the basis of the fledgling government, and the attitudes of some of the founders toward the theory and its traditional proponents. The authors argue forcefully and convincingly that the political ideas of the American Founders cannot be properly understood without understanding social compact theory and the exalted place it held in the construction of the American system of government.

Full Product Details

Author:   Ronald J. Pestritto ,  Thomas G. West ,  Edward J. Erler ,  Steven Forde
Publisher:   Lexington Books
Imprint:   Lexington Books
Dimensions:   Width: 15.30cm , Height: 2.20cm , Length: 23.20cm
Weight:   0.494kg
ISBN:  

9780739106648


ISBN 10:   0739106643
Pages:   296
Publication Date:   25 August 2003
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate ,  Postgraduate, Research & Scholarly
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   In Print   Availability explained
This item will be ordered in for you from one of our suppliers. Upon receipt, we will promptly dispatch it out to you. For in store availability, please contact us.

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Reviews

This volume makes a massive contribution to our understanding of the founding by emphasizing the social compact political theory behind the founding. This allows the various and thoughtful authors to be guided by those special qualities that inhere in the social compact theory--the ideas of nature, equality, liberty, and consent--and to interpret its meaning; this is the often forgotten, yet necessary, condition that helps explain how our constitutional democracy can work so well. I heartily recommend this volume to all students of the founding.--Schramm, Peter W.


This study is thoroughly reseached, it engages critically with the existing literature, and it is convincingly argued. Political Studies Review This book magnificently succeeds in restoring the politics of natural right as an intelligible and persuasive alternative to the politics of historicism. Claremont Review Of Books Recommended. CHOICE This volume makes a massive contribution to our understanding of the founding by emphasizing the social compact political theory behind the founding. This allows the various and thoughtful authors to be guided by those special qualities that inhere in the social compact theory-the ideas of nature, equality, liberty, and consent-and to interpret its meaning; this is the often forgotten, yet necessary, condition that helps explain how our constitutional democracy can work so well. I heartily recommend this volume to all students of the founding. -- Peter W. Schramm, executive director & professor of political science, John M. Ashbrook Center for Public Executive Director & Professor


Author Information

Ronald J. Pestritto is Charles and Lucia Shipley Chair in the American Constitution at Hillsdale College and author of Founding the Criminal Law: Punishment and Political Thought in the Origins of America (2000). Thomas G. West is professor of politics at the University of Dallas and director and senior fellow of the Claremont Institute. His book Vindicating the Founders: Race, Sex, Class and Justice in the Origins of America (1997) won the 2000 Paolucci Book Award.

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